Wednesday, December 31, 2014

JEHOVAH Says, "Return To ME, And I Will Return To You"

Zechariah 1:1-20 NIV

A Call to Return to The LORD

1In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, The WORD of The LORD Came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:

2“The LORD Was Very Angry With your ancestors. 3Therefore tell the people: 

This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: 

‘Return to ME,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY, ‘And I Will Return to you,’ Says The LORD ALMIGHTY. 

4Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: 

This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: 

‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to ME, Declares The LORD. 5Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6But Did Not MY WORDS and My Decrees, which I Commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?

“Then they repented and said, ‘The LORD ALMIGHTY Has Done To us what our ways and practices deserve, Just As HE Determined To Do.’ ”

The Man Among the Myrtle Trees

7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, The WORD of The LORD Came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.

8During the night I had a vision, and there before me Was A Man Mounted On a red horse. HE Was Standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind HIM were red, brown and white horses.

9I asked, “What are these, my LORD?”

The ANGEL Who Was Talking With me Answered, “I Will Show you what they are.”

10Then The Man Standing among the myrtle trees Explained, “They are the ones The LORD Has Sent to go throughout the earth.”

11And they reported to The ANGEL of The LORD WHO Was Standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”

12Then The ANGEL of The LORD Said, “LORD ALMIGHTY, How Long Will YOU Withhold Mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which YOU Have Been Angry with these seventy years?” 13So The LORD Spoke Kind and Comforting WORDS to The ANGEL Who Talked With me.

14Then The ANGEL WHO Was Speaking To me Said, “Proclaim This WORD: This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: ‘I AM Very Jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15And I AM Very Angry With the nations that feel secure. I Was Only A Little Angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’

16“Therefore This Is What The LORD Says: ‘I Will Return to Jerusalem with Mercy, and there MY House Will Be Rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY.

17“Proclaim further: This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: ‘My Towns Will Again Overflow with prosperity, and The LORD Will Again Comfort Zion and Choose Jerusalem.’ ”

Four Horns and Four Craftsmen

18Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19I asked The ANGEL WHO Was Speaking To me, “What are these?”

HE Answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

20Then The LORD Showed me four craftsmen. 21I asked, “What are these coming to do?”

HE Answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”

Zechariah 1

The date joins on Zechariah's prophecy to those of Haggai. Two months before, "in the sixth month" Haggai 1:1, had Haggai, conjointly with Zechariah Ezra 5:1-2, exhorted Zerubbabel and the people to resume the intermitted building of The Temple.

These had used such diligence, notwithstanding the partial discouragement of the Persian Government, that GOD Gave them "in the seventh month" Ezra 5:3-5, the magnificent promise of the later Glory of The Temple through The Coming of CHRIST Haggai 2:1-9.

Still, as Haggai too warned them, the conversion was not complete. So Zechariah in the eighth, as Haggai in the ninth Haggai 2:10-14 month, urges upon them the necessity of thorough and inward repentance, as the condition of partaking of those promises.

1:1-6 GOD's Almighty Power and Sovereign Dominion, should engage and encourage sinners to repent and turn to HIM. It is very desirable to have The LORD of hosts for our friend, and very dreadful to have HIM for our enemy.

Review what is past, and observe The Message GOD Sent by HIS servants, the prophets, to your fathers. Turn now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings. Be persuaded to leave your sins, as the only way to prevent approaching ruin. What is become of our fathers, and of the prophets that preached to them? They are all dead and gone. But where are they? When they died, there was not an end of them; they are in eternity, in the world of spirits, the unchangeable world to which we hasten quickly. Where are they? Those of them who lived and died in sin, are in torment. Those who lived and died in CHRIST, are in heaven; and if we live and die as they did, we shall be with them shortly and eternally.

The prophets are gone. CHRIST Is a Prophet WHO Lives Forever, therefore in another world, both we and our prophets shall live forever: to prepare for that world ought to be our great care in this life. The preachers died, and the hearers died, but The WORD of GOD Does Not Die; not one jot or title of it fell to the ground; For HE Is ETERNAL ONE.

1:7-17 The prophet saw a dark, shady grove, hidden by hills. This represented the low, melancholy condition of the Jewish nation. A Man like a warrior sat on a red horse, in the midst of this shady myrtle-grove. Though the church was in a low condition, CHRIST Was Present in the midst, ready to appear for the relief of HIS people. Behind HIM were angels ready to be employed by HIM, some in acts of Judgment, others of Mercy, others in mixed events. Would we know something of the mysteries of The KINGDOM of Heaven, we must apply, not to angels, for they are themselves learners, but to CHRIST HIMSELF. HE Is Ready To Teach those humbly desirous to learn the things of GOD.

The nations near Judea enjoyed peace at that time, but the state of the Jews was unsettled, which gave rise to the pleading that followed; but mercy must only be hoped for through CHRIST. HIS intercession for HIS church prevails. The LORD Answered The ANGEL, This ANGEL of The Covenant, with Promises of Mercy and Deliverance. All the good words and comfortable words of the Gospel we receive from JESUS CHRIST, As HE Received them from The FATHER, in answer to the prayer of HIS Blood; and HIS ministers are to preach them to all the world.

The earth sat still, and was at rest. It is not uncommon for the enemies of GOD to be at rest in sin, while HIS people are enduring correction, harassed by temptation, disquieted by fears of wrath, or groaning under oppression and persecution. Here are predictions which had reference to the revival of the Jews after the captivity, but those events were shadows of what shall take place in the church, after the oppression of the New Testament Babylon is ended.

1:18-21 The enemies of the church threaten to cut off the name of Israel. They are horns, emblems of power, strength, and violence. The prophet saw them so formidable that he began to despair of the safety of every good man, and the success of every good work; but The LORD Showed him four workmen empowered to cut off these horns.

With an eye of sense we see the power of the enemies of the church; but it is only with an eye of faith that we see it safe. The LORD Shows us that. When GOD Has Work To Do, HE Will Raise Up some to do it, and others to defend it, and to protect those employed in doing it.

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